Category Archives: Media Applications

Animal Symbols

Here are a couple visual examples of Toucans  in art!  Let’s explore how they’re portrayed, shall we?

Toucan Sam is a cultural object, in this case used for his “tropical” implications. In this case he is rendered as humerus and playful, and, at the same time he is given an Australian accent to accentuate his “exotic” connection.  The hope is that consumers will make the connection between brightly-colored birds, which are from topical locations, and fruit, which is from a tropical location.  To provide a second layer of connection t, he is given coloring on his beak that matches the loop shape of the cereal he represents

The toucan’s ability to fly and majestic form is the triggers for this tattoo.  The form is highly stylized to look majestic and serious, proper for a visual   incarnation as “Messenger of the gods”.  By showing the animal in profile, and only showing the most recognizable features, the tattoo keeps the sacred comfortably in the realm of symbolic and believable.  As Terry Pratchett says, “Seeing, contrary to popular wisdom, isn’t believing. It’s [Seeing is] where belief stops, because it isn’t needed any more.”

This elegant and playful peice represents a minimalist toucan.   The streamlined body is played up, as is the modernist colors.  While there is no cultural subtext obvious, the owner of a piece like this has an obvious point to make:  I am modern and have an up-to-date sensibility.  I have connections to an exotic local where perhaps I visit sometimes.  I am a little playful, since this isn’t the type of piece someone who was insecure in their social position would show off.

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Moods of Zoe the Goat

Zoe the Goat lives on top of an alpine mountain in a happy little cave similar to a Hobbit hole. Think very domestic, lacy curtains, plain wooden floors, and patchwork quilts, fresh cheese in the pantry, baguettes stacked up on the side, sausages curing from the rafters…the goat likes the simple, high-cholesterol life. It’s the early 70’s in the late springtime, and The Goat spends her days chewing on the grass, climbing up the rocky craggy mountain, or enjoying the view of a medium-sized city way down below. The goat has no enemies, but once in a while The Kid (a small goat?) might stop by to chew the fat. And there’s a Fat Cat who also hangs out in the area. A very pastoral life, The Goat has.

Zoe as a Goat

Here I am…with a Mountain Goat! This is an exercise for Animals/People. Little Mountain Goat was my family nickname growing up and it’s probably as close to a totem as I get – sturdy, reliable, not especially glamorous but able to go places a more delicate animal couldn’t. I think I look good on a goat. Click for full size.

Collective Storytelling Final

This is my collective Storytelling final! In this class I’ve been fighting some of my knee-jerk reaction to any problem with is just to through code at it until it gives up. In the spirit of keeping things as minimalist as possible so that I can finally get a project that’s not choking with code, I present: AIG – a collective story! It is not completely done, but its in a version that could stand on its own if it needed to.

View it Here!

Storytelling final concept Number 2!

Here is the map I’ve created of pre-scandal AIG. I’ve managed to separate it out into four major areas: Basic corporate facts, successful corporate history, sleazy under the table corporate history, and rising action. That is to say, the foundation for the situation, the image that was being presented tot he public, hints at what was going on under the surface, and the final straws that broke the camels back.

Storytelling final concept

memory_flowerSo last week I posted about my plan for a collective storytelling final:

I’m going to try to to chart the history of the recent business upheaval using pictures: No piece of PR reflects a business’s self-image more than its website, and so many recent economic scandals have their roots in how a business chose to portray itself to the public and its own employees.

And this week I’ve been thinking about the form it will take. As a knee-jerk reaction I want to say a processing sketch or application that will generate stuff in real time, but the fact is I wonder if something like a big poster or website (or even a video?) wouldn’t work better. Ideas?

Jonathan Harris and a Final Story

jonathan-harris-2I’m a fan of Jonathan Harris. Lemme try again – I’m a groupie. He’s on my list. I dig his stuff. Why do I like him so much? Well, his work is useful.

One of the biggest issues I have with Art with a capitol Ar is that it’s very pretty, and it may make a deep philosophical statement, and yes it’s important that someone is thinking about deep issues I guess, but it’s really really inaccessible. Art with an Ar just requires way too much effort on the part of the viewer for not a lot of reward- it’s there, but it’s not, practically speaking, especially useful to the world at large. It’s like, congratulations – you have an opinion about something.

This is a frame of mind that has gotten my rear kicked a total of three times since I started ITP (you know who you are and I’m still annoyed!), and one that’s lead me to always try for projects that either are either really really accessible, or just plain pretty and fun without any extra philosophical baggage.

Jonathan’s work falls mostly into the first category…but there’s a little bit of Art in there too. And yet it’s successful! Two seconds after looking at any of his pieces you know what he has to say and why, and it’s a pleasure learn more. And it’s pretty – so pretty that it isn’t work to look at his pieces. Most importantly there’s no feeling of being tutored about a subject, or the suspicion of being condecended to which can be so deadly to some projects.

Anyway, the point of all this is, I’m feeling inspired. For my final project in Collective storytelling I’m going to violate my promise and make some Art with a capitol Ar, and try to make it at all palatable using the two Jonathan principles: Make Your Point Simple, and Make it Pretty.

A lot of my summer and semester has been news oriented, so perhaps its time for a change. I’m going to try to to chart the history of the recent business upheaval using pictures: No piece of PR reflects a business’s self-image more than its website, and so many recent economic scandals have their roots in how a business chose to portray itself to the public and its own employees.

Using the NYTimes API to sort through scandals of the last 3 years and the Wayback Machine of how corporate websites changed over time I plan to create a diagram-timeline-garden showing how these websites contained the seeds, in this case litterally, to our final “sprouted mess”. I’m still working on the compelte form, but it will be easy to understand and pretty, a la Jonathan